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The Filipina Fish Bone Fiasco [Flashback* 06.06.2012]

Healthy eating can occasionally have adverse side effects. Just ask my asawa. It was laundry day. Our hot laundry lady had finished the wash and was on her way home after eating the fish and rice meal my spouse had prepared. My wife, who insists on sitting outside and assisting our helper, was finishing her late lunch. I went into the duwende-sized kitchen where she sat at our duwende-sized kitchen table set from Mandaue Foam. She had a particularly nasty look on her face Filipina Fish Bone Fiasco.DSC

  • “What’s wrong?” I asked. 
  • “I have a fishbone stuck in my throat,” she replied disgustedly.
  • “Eat some bread,” I said as I handed her a slice from a nearby loaf. 

The fishbone was still stuck. She drank some water. It was still lodged in her throat so I went online and Googled “fishbone stuck in the throat.” 

So for the next 30 minutes, my poor asawa tried eating bananas, drinking vinegar (to soften the bone,) inducing vomiting (she stuck her fingers down her throat,) swallowing rice and rice balls, and eating more bread and bananas. Nothing worked. The fishbone was still there. 

I got a flashlight and peered inside her mouth. Couldn’t see any bone. She could swallow, but it was very uncomfortable doing so. I said we needed to see a doctor now. She advised me that if the fishbone was still there in the morning we would go. 

Stubbornness is one of the traits my Filipino wife possesses in amply supply. I could do nothing but wait until tomorrow. Perhaps the bone had already been dislodged and had scratched her throat. Some people online had revealed that this had been the case with them, and the fishbone felt like it was still stuck even three days later because of the scratch. DSC

The fact that our latest electric bill arrived shortly afterward, P4500 pesos (103 US Dollars), did nothing to brighten our moods. This was the highest bill we had ever received since moving to the Philippines in July 2009 and almost P2000 higher than last month. The previously highest bill, P3600 ($83.00),  was when we had first installed an aircon in our former home in Guimaras two years ago. 

But I knew I would probably be escorting my asawa to a healthcare clinic the next morning. I couldn’t sleep well knowing that she was in discomfort. She seemed to be breathing alright, but I could tell that swallowing was painful for her. I shut off the air con that night. Thankfully, it had been raining the last several days and had cooled things off. 

It had been hot this past May, and we had extra electricity costs due to the summer weather. Plus our nephew Sharwen and Shaina were now living with us and that added to the total bill. I was not pleased with all, especially when I saw our utility company had raised our kilowatt per hour rate to 10.98 pesos. Last month the rate was 10.59 pesos per kwh. 

I could envision the pesos flying out of our window. An unexpected doctor bill loomed large for tomorrow, and 2,000 pesos were cut from the next budget due to the electricity costs. When you’re on a fixed income as we are, unplanned expenses do hurt. 

To top it,  off the stock market has been going down and has negatively impacted our investment IRA. Even in “paradise,” worries and troubles can become unwelcome visitors if you invite them in. Hopefully, tomorrow would bring better news and an end to the Filipina Fish Bone Fiasco.

(To be continued,  with apologies to Larry.)  

21 thoughts on “The Filipina Fish Bone Fiasco [Flashback* 06.06.2012]

  1. Hi Dave, ask your asawa if she heard that if she know someone who was born (suwi) can massage her throat and the bone will unstuck.

  2. I know! The electric bill the past 2 months has been outrageous – well, a lot more than we expected, that’s for sure! The good – no, great – news is that the new inverter-type A/C unit we put in only used about P1000 ($25) worth of the P5600 electric bill. Aside from our small refrigerator, the ice machine gobbled up the rest. It seems that this type of A/C is as advertised, using 50% less energy than the old window-box unit. However, it doesn’t help when the electric company is raising rates at the same time! I thought we had good ol’ Meralco, but it’s a local co-op called Neeco. Anyway, off on a tangent there; hope you guys got the fishbone crisis taken care of.

      1. Randy, I cool the entire house, which is 800 sq. ft. I still haven’t fully adapted to the heat and humidity!

      2. I’m thinking I will need to cool the BR’s most days and the house (1,450 sf) some days. If it can be done for less than $200, it would be worth it to me to cool the entire house to about 76F.

  3. ((shiver)) Fishbones have been a phobia of mine since childhood, I have always chewed fresh fish until it was paste myself. To be honest that is one of the hardest things I have to overcome with my soon to be diet of Filipino food. Looking forward to the good news that the Asawa’s throat is fine and being used to scold you again Dave. 😉

  4. I too have this fear of fish bones winding up stuck in places they should have never gone. Once I somehow stuck myself with a fishbone between my tooth and gum and it hurt. I refer to it as the FBSI – ‘Fib-see (fish bone stabbing incident). I also read an article once about this dying man who was discovered to have a small fish bone fragment stuck in his liver. Now don’t ask me how, but it was really written that way describing how his liver was shutting itself down because of the tiny bone fragment. He did survive after they discovered it but that scared really put the FBS scare into me. As a result of my fear, Bangus is one fish I won’t eat.

  5. Dave,

    Sometimes, if you’re eating a scaly fish like tilapia, some of it will get stuck too somewhere in your throat and it’s harder to dislodge than a fish bone. Just sayin…

    1. Dave,
      Glad to see you back with a new post. Hopefully your asawa just has a scratched throat. Maybe you should brush up on the heimlich maneuver because you never know what could happen. That is quite a rise in the electic bill. Hopefully rain will continue to keep A/C use to a minimum. Take care have a nice day.

  6. Still no aircon here in Tagum City. I make do with a fan. My wonderful wife Meriam spent 4 years going to school in Iloilo and she really liked the people there. Would she want to live there? Never, too hot and no water.

    Bones in fish. I don’t eat milkfish!!! I like the wild caught Salmon from Alaska we get at the mall. Costs a bit more but I don’t have to worry about the high levels of heavy metals that the local fish have. A big plus is…wait for it…wait….NO BONES!!!! 😛

    73 de kb0ni

      1. Sure they have water Randy. 2 days a week for about 8 hours each day. I really dig Dave on that point. Here in Tagum City we have water 24/7 365! Safe drinking water…right from the tap. So does Davao City and many others here in Mindanao. I have been to some cities that have a sign on the wall that the tap water is not drinking water. 🙁

        Meriam hates the taste of the tap water here so we buy the 5 gallon jugs of water. Is it safer than the tap water? NO but it tastes better. 😛

        1. I wasn’t aware there were still water delivery problems to the larger communities. Where we are going (Calbayog City) there is always water and good pressure to. Not sure about drinking quality though.

  7. I must admit I need a fan blowing on me all the time. Meriam hates the fans. Too cold she says. She covers up at night like it is winter time in Michigan.

    The heat is really helped my health. No more dry mouth. My feet heal faster and my back doesn’t hurt as much. It’s more fun in the Philippines.


    1. Now that’s what I’m looking forward to…less back pain. I’m sure a little SMB now and then will help. 🙂

  8. Dave,

    I LOVE fish, but am repulsed by the bones. I really miss Tom & Len Len ! I will also include you and your beautiful wife.

    I have not heard from Tom & hope that he is doing well with the new “Chicken Farm”

    I really miss my (rental goat & baby) please stop by and give them a kiss for me.

    Take Care Always

    Fearless Frank Florida

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